Monday, October 19, 2015

"Covert" measure of racism invalid

I have been critical of the IAT for over a decade (See e.g. here) so I am pleased to see that its invalidity seems to be becoming widely accepted.  The text below is from a wide-ranging survey of psychological research findings that have not stood up to scrutiny

Perhaps most consequentially, replications failed to validate many uses of the Implicit Association Test, which is the most popular research tool in social psychology. Its designers say the test detects unconscious biases, including racial biases, that persistently drive human behavior. Sifting data from the IAT, social scientists tell us that at least 75 percent of white Americans are racist, whether they know it or not, even when they publicly disavow racial bigotry. This implicit racism induces racist behavior as surely as explicit racism. The paper introducing the IAT’s application to racial attitudes has been cited in more than 6,600 studies, according to Google Scholar. The test is commonly used in courts and classrooms across the country. 

That the United States is in the grip of an epidemic of implicit racism is simply taken for granted by social psychologists​—​another settled fact too good to check. Few of them have ever returned to the original data. Those who have done so have discovered that the direct evidence linking IAT results to specific behavior is in fact negligible, with small samples and weak effects that have seldom if ever been replicated. One team of researchers went through the IAT data on racial attitudes and behavior and concluded there wasn’t much evidence either way.

“The broad picture that emerges from our reanalysis,” they wrote, “is that the published results [confirming the IAT and racism] are likely to be conditional and fragile and do not permit broad conclusions about the prevalence of discriminatory tendencies in American society.” Their debunking paper, “Strong Claims and Weak Evidence,” has been cited in fewer than 100 studies.


The text above is part of an article that looked at replications.  There have been several attempts made recently to see if a research finding will be repeated if the same experiment is repeated. About two thirds of the reports could not be replicated.  When someone else carried out exactly the same research, the original finding was not repeated.  That is of course very destructive to faith in scientific "findings".

There is however another problem that is equally disquieting:  Researchers keep refusing to make their raw data generally available for others to check the analyses.  Many journals have policies saying that authors MUST make their raw data available to other scientists.  But it still does not happen.  As the report below shows, only 38% of psychologists were willing to make their raw data available to others.  That is however good when compared with climate researchers.  The percentage there seems to be 0%.

Are We Wasting a Good Crisis? The Availability of Psychological Research Data after the Storm

By  Wolf Vanpaemel et al.


To study the availability of psychological research data, we requested data from 394 papers, published in all issues of four APA journals in 2012. We found that 38% of the researchers sent their data immediately or after reminders. These findings are in line with estimates of the willingness to share data in psychology from the recent or remote past. Although the recent crisis of confidence that shook psychology has highlighted the importance of open research practices, and technical developments have greatly facilitated data sharing, our findings make clear that psychology is nowhere close to being an open science.


And it's even worse here, where 31 emailed requests for data yielded only 4 positive answers.

"Psychology is bunk" would be a reasonable comment on most of it.  That psychologists are overwhelmingly Leftist does help to explain that.  Leftism is bunk too -- JR


It's Time to Change the Name of the Democrat Party

On major networks across the nation, Tuesday’s Democrat presidential debate was interrupted so viewers could watch a tribute to Karl Marx.

Oh wait, that was the Democrat presidential debate.

Itching to succeed the current progressive occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee took the stage to lay out their plans for America — plans that sounded a lot like “from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs.”

Chafee promised to “close the gap” between the haves and have nots, and self-proclaimed democratic-socialist Bernie Sanders decried the rigging of the American economy to favor the 1%. Rigging is bad. Very bad. Unless people like Bernie do the rigging. Then rigging is good. Very good.

Meanwhile, Clinton donned her Wonder Woman cape to “save capitalism from itself” and address “the kind of inequalities we’re seeing in our economic system.” She must have accidentally deleted the memo that centrally controlled distribution of wealth to achieve equality is also known as socialism. Then again, Clinton has deleted a lot of things lately.

It was quite a show, really — and it’s amazing any podiums were placed stage right, since the whole evening was a performance of Left and Lefter.

Ironically, as The Wall Street Journal notes, “The end of a two-term Presidency is typically a time for taking credit, celebrating achievements and promising to continue successful policies,” but even the Left recognizes a stupid idea from time to time.

After all, what could they possibly point to from Obama’s two terms? A near-doubling of our national debt? Hardly a winning argument.

Instead, the candidates actually admitted that, after seven years of Obama, things are still pretty dreary. O'Malley, for example, pointed to a shrinking middle class. “Our poor families are becoming poorer, and 70% of us are earning the same, or less, than we were 12 years ago. We need new leadership, and we need action.” Of course, he had to go back 12 years to be sufficiently Bush-bashing.

So what would one of these new bosses look like?

A lot like the old boss, actually.

As Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) points out, when asked by debate moderator Anderson Cooper how they would differ from Obama, the candidates proffered Obama 2.0, including a “right” to health care; free college for all; amnesty, in-state tuition and ObamaCare for illegal immigrants; paid family leave; a $15 minimum wage; and a free pony.

Ok, not a pony.

“One thing never came up,” notes IBD: “the national debt. Under Obama, it’s soared from 60% to over 100% of GDP, meaning our national IOU is bigger than our $18 trillion economy. To anybody but Democrats, that’s a crisis.”

But socialism has done so smashingly elsewhere, why not try it here?

In describing his socialistic utopia, Sanders pointed to — where else — the Scandinavian paradise. After all, Denmark, Sweden and Norway have “accomplished” much “for their working people,” says Sanders. Well, if Bernie wants to have a Danish love-fest, he might also want to do some better debate prep.

Admittedly, Denmark has a huge welfare state, which Sanders loves. But that state is propped up by high taxes on the middle class that include not only high income taxes but also a value-added tax — meaning a tax on every stage of production or distribution of a product. This is hardly the “top 1%” paying their “fair share.”

Indeed, as National Review’s Kevin Williamson writes, “If Senator Sanders were an intellectually honest man, he’d acknowledge forthrightly that the only way to pay for generous benefits for the middle class is to tax the middle class, where most of the income earners are.”

Second, Scandinavia is actually more free-market friendly than Sanders thinks. Corporate tax rates are lower there than in the United States, and the Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index ranks Sanders' beloved Denmark a slot ahead of the U.S. in freedom level. Does this mean he’ll soon propose cutting our corporate tax rate?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, now.

In truth, as IBD notes, “The Democratic debate shows just how far left the party’s lurched. Capitalism was on trial, and self-ID’d socialism was literally front and center. Stop the charade. Just change your name to the Democratic Socialist Party.”

Nary a candidate was willing to assert categorical opposition to socialism and all advocated socialistic policies under the guise of equality. In the end, they put on a show that would have made Marx proud.



21st century Nazis going strong

21st century Nazis don't of course exactly mirror the 1930s Nazis but the attitude similarities are great -- including Leftist origins. They are not only hostile to the Jewish state but they champion the quite Fascist Palestinian statelet.  And their biases would do Hitler proud. Even though Israel is just responding to Arab attacks, the demonstrators below see no fault with the Arabs but all fault with the Jews.  "The Jooooos" are a bug in the brain of many Leftists.  Even though he was one himself, even Karl Marx did not like Jews

Hundreds of Free Palestine demonstrators bring London traffic to a standstill with protest outside Israeli embassy and in Oxford Street

Parts of London were brought to a standstill when hundreds of pro-Palestine campaigners took part in rallies yesterday.  In Oxford Circus, stunned shoppers were stopped in their tracks by protesters setting off red and green smoke bombs and carrying 'Solidarity with the Palestinian Resistance' banners.

Meanwhile, outside the Israeli embassy in Kensington, campaigners came together to 'oppose the escalating attack on Palestinians'.

People came together outside the Israeli embassy in Kensington to unite for 'peace, freedom and justice'

Layla White, of London Palestine Action which organised the sit-down protest at the crossing between Oxford Street and Regent Street, said: 'We've taken disruptive direct action today to draw attention to the Palestinian popular resistance which is defying curfews and reclaiming the streets of Palestine against military occupation every day.'

Transport for London said about 10 buses were briefly diverted by a group of people blocking the road.

Pro-Palestine groups also organised a protest in High Street Kensington, opposite the Israeli embassy, yesterday, which welcomed hundreds of people waving, and wearing, the Palestinian flag.

A statement on the Palestine Solidarity Campaign website read: 'We have come together to unite for Palestine. We have come together to unite for peace, freedom and justice. To unite against hatred, intolerance and racism.

'We have come together to oppose this escalating attack on Palestinians. We welcome all who stand with us in our opposition to all forms of racism, including antisemitism and Islamophobia.'

The protests came as Israelis shot dead three Palestinian 'knife attackers' in Jerusalem and Hebron, including a 16-year-old boy.  Israeli police spokesman Luba Samri said officers shot and killed the teenager in Jerusalem after he tried to stab them when they stopped to ask him for identification.

Elsewhere today, an Israeli pedestrian shot and killed a Palestinian who tried to stab him in the West Bank city of Hebron - a frequent flashpoint where a few hundred Jewish settlers live in close proximity to tens of thousands of Palestinians.

The military said the Palestinian was shot dead before he could harm the man.  Later, police said a Palestinian woman stabbed a female officer at a border police base in Hebron before the officer shot her dead. The officer's hand was 'lightly wounded'.

Protesters set off smoke bombs during a protest at the crossing between Oxford Street and Regent Street

And this evening, a Palestinian was shot after stabbing an Israeli soldier in the city, the army said.

Over the past month, eight Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks - most of them stabbings.  In that time, 39 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, including 18 labelled as attackers, and the rest in clashes with Israeli troops.

Most of the attacks on Israelis have been carried out by Palestinians with no known ties to militant groups.

The violence erupted a month ago over the Jewish New Year. It was fueled by rumours that Israel was plotting to take over Jerusalem's most sensitive holy site, a hilltop compound revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque - Islam's third-holiest shrine and a key national symbol for the Palestinians.

Israel has adamantly denied the allegations, saying it has no plans to change the status quo at the site, where Jews are allowed to visit but not pray.

The Palestinian fears have been fueled by a growing number of Jews visiting the compound in recent months, especially during holidays, with the encouragement of Jewish activists groups and senior government officials.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has at times tried to calm the situation by saying violence is not in the Palestinians' interest and behind the scenes has ordered his security forces to reduce frictions.

But Israel accuses him of incitement, saying he has not condemned attacks on Israelis and falsely accused Israel of having 'summarily executed' a Palestinian boy who stabbed an Israeli youngster. The Palestinian teen is recovering in hospital.

Israel has taken unprecedented steps in response to the attacks. It has deployed soldiers in its cities and put up concrete barriers outside some Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem, where most of the attackers came from.

Ordinary citizens have also increasingly taken up arms to protect themselves.

On Friday, Palestinian assailants firebombed a West Bank site revered by Jews as the tomb of the biblical figure Joseph.



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